JULY 10, 2010
Reported by Jeffrey Travia, ULI New York Young Leaders Group
On Saturday, July 10th, a group of ULI Young Leaders met at the PS1 MoMA museum in Long Island City, Queens, for a guided tour of “Pole Dance,” the winning entry in the PS1 MoMA Annual Young Architects Program competition. The tour was hosted by Jing Liu, a principal of SO-IL, the architectural firm that conceptualized and installed the winning proposal, which is located in the outdoor courtyard of the museum. Participants were then invited to visit the museum’s current gallery exhibition, “Greater New York,” and stay for PS1’s internationally renowned summer music series, Warm Up.
A series of interconnected, movable 30’ tall fiberglass poles looped together by a net and supported by the courtyard’s concrete wall, “Pole Dance” references a Bauhaus Dance from the late 1920s. The poles can be moved through direct action or by connected activators, such as hammocks and inflatable beach balls. As each pole moves, a sound is emitted that reflects its x- and y-coordinates. The diffusion of movement through the interconnected poles creates a song, which encourages playful interaction with the installation. Using an iPhone application specially designed for the installation, visitors can watch a live display of the poles’ movement, and amplify or reduce the poles’ overall sound and effect. The requests from multiple iPhones are averaged to create a democratic outcome.
Liu told the group that the concept of “Pole Dance” alludes to the absence of a pillar of authority in a globalized world, where interrelated behaviors and actions have the power to unite and influence across borders and societies. In keeping with the program’s global consciousness, all of the materials used in the installation will be fully reused by other groups. For example, the mesh netting will be installed above a hotel in Jamaica, to protect its roof from falling papayas.
The SO-IL (Solid Objectives – Idenberg Liu) team is based in DUMBO, Brooklyn, and is working on projects worldwide, including a student housing development in Athens, Greece, and an art gallery in Seoul, Korea. Ms. Liu is originally from China and fellow partner Florian Idenberg is from the Netherlands. But New York is where Liu feels most at home. “I’ve lived in Shanghai, Tokyo, and London,” she said, “but New York is the first city where I feel like I can become a local.”